5 Reasons SEO & PPC Work Better When Used Together

5 Reasons SEO & PPC Work Better When Used Together

Many people think that Search Engine Optimization and Pay Per Click marketing are two completely different service offerings and strategies. While it is true that they are incredibly different, this doesn’t mean that they don’t work well when managed with the intention to benefit each other. There is a common misconception that PPC ads can “cannibalize” organic traffic, and that’s one rumor that we’re here to put to rest by providing 5 reasons SEO and PPC work best when they’re used together.

1. Dominate the search engine results page

As we talked about in our post listing reasons why you should bid on your brand name, dominating the search results page can really improve your overall online marketing performance. Google’s Quantitative Management team has even tested it and their concluded case study shows that:

on average, the incremental ad clicks percentage across verticals is 89%. This means that a full 89% of the traffic generated by search ads is not replaced by organic clicks when ads are paused.”

89 Percent! That’s a lot of traffic you’re not capturing if you’re only ranking organically and not dominating the SERP with both PPC and Organic listings. For more information regarding this study, please visit Google’s Research Blog.

SEO and PPC ad example

2. Share performance data

Running both Adwords campaigns and SEO efforts at the same time gives you double the keyword data to share, which provides a huge advantage over running just one or the other.

First of all, more data means you’re capturing double the keyword data and therefore you’re learning faster than you would be if you were just running either/or. Also, having this data to review provides you a “guide” if you will, to where you can expand your campaigns further. Are you looking to build on your existing keyword list? Then look at your organic keyword data and determine if there are any opportunities to add high quality keywords that have performed well historically.

For a more detailed look on how you can use PPC data to improve your SEO results, read our Top 5 ways to use this data.

3. Use successful messaging to guide optimization & content strategy

One of the biggest advantages of PPC marketing (other than generating traffic, leads, and business, of course) is the ability to test variables and quickly see actionable results. The benefits of A/B testing have widely been praised, however this practice does not only benefit your PPC campaigns. If used correctly, this can be an invaluable tool in your SEO strategy.

By A/B testing your headlines and ad copy, then determining what messaging resonates with the users (and most importantly, what converts best), you are able to give yourself an idea of what is working in PPC and then apply those findings to your SEO meta descriptions, title tags and on-page content. Remember, (most of the time) what works in PPC will work in SEO.

4. Use PPC to test organic keyword strategy

One of the most commonly known benefits of PPC (as mentioned above) is the ability to test variables and quickly see actionable results, which comes at a certain (CPC) cost. Conversely, one of the downsides of SEO is the fact that it takes a longer period of time to gather actionable data, which unlike PPC, doesn’t have as measurable of a “cost.”

So what does this mean? Since we’re on the topic of sharing PPC resources with SEO (and vice versa), use your PPC campaigns as a “testing lab” to determine if a particular keyword is going to drive conversions or not. You’ll gather immediate data and this information will either support the addition of the new keyword, or determine that it’s not profitable. When you know what works and what doesn’t on the PPC side of things, you know to adjust your organic keyword strategy accordingly.

5. Retarget users who did not convert

Here at Vertical Measures, the most common campaign we create for clients across the board is a Remarketing campaign. Remarketing campaigns are wonderful since you have the ability to target users who did not convert on their first visit, no matter where they came from on the web (PPC campaign, organic listing, social media or TV ads). Since these are users who have visited your site before, they are likely going to already be familiar with your brand and products. Typically this type of campaign tends to improve conversions across all campaigns because it builds brand awareness, which can be a gateway to a continued online relationship.

We strongly believe that both PPC and SEO ideally work in a true partnership, both striving to achieve your organization’s goals in the most cost-effective manner possible. Search engine optimization ensures that your site is not only 100% optimized for search engines, but also optimized to improve user experience on the site by providing relevant content. Pay per click marketing is truly a promotional tool that allows you to reach people who are searching for services/products that are relevant to your organization, and it gives you the opportunity to showcase yourself in a targeted environment.

Now if you group both of these services together and think of them as working as one cohesive unit (albeit with different strategies), I’m confident that you’ll see the fruits of your efforts in not only your performance metrics, but your organization’s bottom line.


Natalie Barreda

Natalie is a PPC Analyst, working closely with clients to create and optimize successful Adwords campaigns. Natalie has had a wide variety of experience, from six years of wireless customer service/sales, to stage management. When Natalie is not furiously optimizing client's campaigns, she is working on her amateur photography, hiking, camping, enjoying local art, engaging in local events and spending quality time with her family, friends and spoiled dog, Kalohe.